Happy Cinco de Mayo
In Phoenix, today will be celebrated with Mexican food, parties, and ethnic dancing.Now a little history lesson.
Cinco de Mayo is a celebration held on May 5. It is celebrated nationwide in the United States and regionally in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla,where the holiday is called El Dia de la Batalla de Puebla (English: The Day of the Battle of Puebla). The date is observed as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride, and to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy . In the state of Puebla, the date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. Contrary to widespread popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day—the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico—which is actually celebrated on September 16. 31% of the Arizona population is Hispanic, and the Hispanic population in Phoenix is 36.5%.
Fiestas are planned everywhere--from large organized parties, to small neighborhood or family events. Tables will be piled high with rice and beans, hand made tortillas, tamale pies, ceviche, flatus, burritos, tacos, and enchiladas. Beer and margaritas will flow like water.
On the down side, last year, more than 500 Arizonans were arrested for drunk driving during Cinco de Mayo festivities – including 167 extreme DUIs. This is more than for any other one day holiday. And while having a designated driver or calling a cab is the obvious safe choice, those arrested during Cinco de Mayo last year failed to use either option.
As the token white lady on our block, I am wishing each of you a happy, safe Cinco de Mayo, no matter what your heritage, we can all be proud of who we are, and especially the freedoms that we enjoy.